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Modell, A.H. (1987). An Object Relations Perspective. Psychoanal. Inq., 7(2):233-240.

(1987). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 7(2):233-240

An Object Relations Perspective

Arnold H. Modell, M.D.

Our fundamental theoretical assumptions, our Model of the Mind, undoubtedly has a profound influence on our understanding of an analytic case. One's model of psychoanalysis has an organizing effect, it selects our responses and interpretations; our theoretical preconceptions determine how we conduct an analysis. Different models of the mind may not lead to widely divergent techniques, as we all adhere to certain basic technical methods such as avoiding overactivity, not giving reassurance, creating an ambience that will permit the full emergence of the patient's capacity to free associate, and so forth. But while we may not differ in our fundamental technique, what we select to focus upon will have an enormous influence on the unfolding of the analytic process; the raw data of analysis is multidetermined and ambiguous, offering a multiplicity of meanings, all of which may be in a certain sense true. The crucial issue, however, is the analyst's recognition of what is immediate and “real’ and what is being used for purposes of defense and dissimulation.

The model of the mind that seems to have influenced Dr. Silverman is that of classical analysis with its emphasis on the centrality of Oedipus complex. My differences with him are not such that I would propose any fundamental alteration of basic technique.

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